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Full text of "The Roman marmorarii"

THE ROMAN MARMORARII 



BY 



Read at a meeting of the British and American Archaeological Society 
of Rome, March 28,^^' i8g^. 



ROME 



1 1 I' O (; n A F I A N A Z H) N A I, K 1)1 (; . 15 K |{ T K U Cj 

VIA U M M li I A 



ISO:; 



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THE ROMAN MARMORARII 



BY 



Read at a meeting of the British and American Archaeolog/cal Society 
of Rome, March 28,''-' iSg^. 



ROME 



TII'OGnAFIA N A /ION A I. R 1)1 C. I'.KHTRHO 
VIA U M M It I A 



1 so:; 



THE ROMAN MARMORARII 



Marmorarii, or marble-workei's, as they called themselves, were those 
Roman artists, architects, sculptors and mosaic decorators who, during the 
Xllth, Xlllth and beginning of the XlVth centuries, were occupied at Rome 
and in the neighbouring towns and provinces, in erecting, or carving, or en- 
crusting with gold and enamel tessere those beautiful cloisters, those porti- 
coes, those altars and crowning canopies, those ambones or pulpits, those 
parapets and pavements, those candelabras, those episcopal chairs, those 
tombs and shrines, which, from the Christian name of Cosma, or Cosimo, 
of one of the marmorarii, were ascribed to the style of the « Cosmati » or 
Cosnuttcsquc. 

The works of the Roman marmorarii have occupied the researches of 
many art critics and archceologists ; among the most learned we may quote 
that of Count Promis, whose work was much improved by Comm. G. B. De 
Rossi who published a much more exact reading of the inscriptions and 
some notices about monuments of the same school, now lost. Also may be 
mentioned an interesting chapter out of Prof. Camillo Boito's Architcttura 
dot medio eoo ia Italia, and a simple Catalogue of the reproductions of me- 
dioival decorations sent by the city of Rome to the Turin exhibition of 1884, 
by Mr. Stevenson, whicli is valuable both for its learning and correctness. 

The origin and develop^ment of the art of the marmorarii has caused 
mucii discussion. It is now agreed that there was a Romanesque school of 
arcliitecturc, to which is due the simple and dirninuiive arcades, su[)portcd 
by slender shafts, which surrounded tiic coui't-yards of monasteries and de- 
corated tiie tops of towers or fortified houses with small double oi- (i'ii)lc 
windows, not ungraceftil in themselves, but so nai-row ;ind inodi^st ;is lu 
pr(jvoke the dei-ision of lienaissance ai'chitccts, who called tlieni (jahhic da 
<)rilli, 01- « ci'ickets' cages •>. Only a lew iVagtuents of ihe pi-irnitive Korna- 
n(.'squc windows and other (ba l,nf«!s of dornestif' architoci m-o n;rnaiii, biil of 
the cloistei-s which exhibit ili<; jtrirni live rud(;nt;ss oi- unadorned siinphelly 



4 

we can mention, among others, those of S. Lorenzo, those within the con- 
vents of S. CeciUa and of the S. S. Quattro Incoronati, of S. Cosimato and 
of S. Sabina. They have the same relation to the richly decorated cloi- 
sters of Rome as the cloisters of Cefalii have to their Sicilian rivals of Mon- 
reale. 

The mosaic decorations which became the most characteristic works of- 
the marmorarii, point undoubtedly to a Byzantine derivation, but we find 
them introduced by the Saracens among the decorations of the Ziza palace 
at Palermo, and in the hands of the Saracens the geometrical combinations 
of mosaic patterns were carried out to such an extent as lo afford a most 
rich collection of gold and enamel backgrounds for sculptures, besides frames 
and bands to decorate plain surfaces. The Norman tombs in the cathedral 
of Palermo, Roger's apartment and the Palatine chapel, the King's throne 
and the Bishop's cathedra in the Duomo of Cefalii are the most character- 
istic among the xnth century monuments in Sicily showing a distinct and 
very close artistic relationship to the works of the Roman inarniorarii. But 
the crowning glory of Sicilian monuments of this kind is undoubtedly the 
Cloister of Monreale, whose columns display the richest variety of forms, 
sculpture and mosaic decorations and whose capitals have no rivals among 
those of contemporary buildings of South Italy. Upon the abacus of one of 
these capitals of Monreale the sculptor has engraved his name thus: 

EGO CONSTANTINVS ROMANVS MARMORARIVS. 

He who could carve a capital like that one, and perhaps some others of 
the same cloister, had an inventive ai'tistic talent and possessed a keenness 
of perception for what is beautiful in natural forms and an accuracy of exe- 
cution that was developed when he worked at his own home, which enabled 
him to assimilate an idea of those forms of beauty, new to him, among which 
he worked, an impression which he carried along with him and which he 
could not fail to apply when an opportunity presented itself and when mate- 
rial conditions were such as to facilitate the taking advantage of such an 
opportunity. 

Rome gradually emerged in the XI I*^'' century from the state of degrada- 
tion into which architecture, and architectural decorations, in fact every 
branch of the fine arts, had sunk and that with such a rapid descent that it 
is quite easy to trace it from the mosaics of St. Pudenziana (V^i^ century) to 
those of St. Marco (IX^^^ century) ; but the revival took place when the re- 
maining monuments of ancient Rome had already been used for new pur- 
poses or were reduced to an entire state of ruin. The idea of turning into 
something useful and beautiful the fragments of the Roman ruins themselves, 
not to preserve the memory of the primitive buildings, but to take full ad- 
vantage of their chiselled and coloured surfaces, was an old one, and had 



5 



been Lui'iied to some pui'pose by the Gothic Kings. However, between the 
VI'^' centin'v, the age of Theodoric, and of the early basiUcas at Ronne and at 
Ravenna, and the Xll*-'' century, the age ol' the crusades and of the Roma- 
nesque architecture, a great change had taken place, the inhabitants liad 
sunk from the level which had enabled them to conceive Christian ai'chitec- 
ture with Pagan proportions and were further changed by the invasion of 
Saracenic ideas which were derived from or inhuenced by Byzantine and 
Persian origin. 

Unfortunately I have not yet been able to trace out a complete history of 
the mosaic decorations which are characteristic of the works of the Roman 
niarinoi-arii ; still more unfortunately most of the original sources have been 
scattered and lost long ago, but this may be partly atoned for by comparing 
the mosaic decorations of Rome and of the Carapagna with those of Naples, 
Salerno and Sicily. The changes in these decorations may almost be com- 
pared to the changes in the dialects of these provinces; at Rome they pos- 
sess some of the Roman influence, at Naples they show signs of Greek in- 
tluence, at Palermo and Cefalu they become almost purely Arabic. 

The germ of this kind of decoration could not find a better soil for 
its fecundation than that of Rome, where slabs of marble of all kinds and 
large drums of porphyry columns were ready to hand for anyone desiring to 
avail himself of quarries, farmed not by the unconscious process of geolo- 
gical laws, but by the accumulated labour of several hundreds of years, of 
generation after generation of conquerors and artists, who had stored and 
worked materials sufhcienl for the outward splendour of the capital of the 
Roman Empire. The same germ was quickly sterilised on other soils, and 
when the Roman mamiorarii themselves, though well equipped with skill 
and material means, tried to import this style of architectural dccoraiion 
into counti'ies which had no ai-cliitectural ruins on which to exercise it, nov 
the amount of sunlight refjuired by slender arcades, delicate mouldings and 
plain surfaces variegated by geometrical patterns in mosaics of glass gold 
and mother of pearl, they never succeeded in forming a permanent school of 
tlieir' own. 

The work of the Roman Dvlarmorarii we arc speaking of, (they were so 
called by ('assiodurus as early as tiie VI"' century) e.Ktended fi-om the begin- 
ning of tiie XII''' to tiie end of the Xlil"' century and during that nei-iod liic 
history of several of tiiem Iia< been studied wiiose names are found engraved 
on the monuments wl)i(:h they decoi-ated. The following particulai's are taken 
from my notes on the sul».jcct and will convey S(Hiie idea of the amount of 
work d(jne Ity iheni. 

The earliest name mentioned in ili<i twelfth century is that of Paolo, wIkj 
executed the wfji-k on tin; riboriuni of the cathedral of Ferentino between 
the yeai-s 1 H)'; and I IK), on whi< h he engiMve<l his name, lliiis: /ux: opifcr 



6 

magnus fecit oir nomino Paulas. He laid the pavement of the choir of 
S. Peter's, a fragment of which is preserved in the casino of Pius IV in the 
Vatican Gardens and is inscribed: bona dextra Paull. 

Four sons of Paul, John, Peter, Angel and Saxon, executed the cibo- 
rium of the basilica of S. Lorenzo fuori le mura in 1148 and inscribed 
upon it : 

t Johs. Petrus^ Angelas ot Sasso Jllii Paali rjiarniorarit liuias operis 
magistri fuerunt . 

f Ann. D . M . C . XL . VIII ego Hugo huniilis abbas Jioc opus 
fieri feci . 

and six years later a ciborium for the church of S. Mark, and aboat the same 
date a third one for the church of S. Croce in Gerusalemme, now lost. The 
ciborium erected at SS. Cosmo and Damiano by Cardinal Guidoni, who died 
A. D. 1153, bore the inscription : 

f Johs . Petras . Angelas . Sasso . flii Paali Iiajas operis magistri fae- 
runt . 

Nicolo, a son of Angelo, worked about the years lPO-1180, the candela- 
brum (Paschal candlestick) of S. Paolo, which bears also the signature of 
his associate: Petrus Bassalletus; an altar at Sutri and some other works 
in the crypt of S. Bartolommeo in Isola, at S. Alessio and in the Lateran 
basilica. 

Rainerius or Ranucius was the name of the head of another family of 
marniorarii; he engraved his o\vn name and those of his two sons, Nicolo 
and Pietro, on a double window in the church of S. Silvestro in Capite, now 
preserved on the ground floor in the Ministry of Public Works. Pietro 
carved the doo:-way of the church of S. Maria diCastello at Corneto (1143), 
and Nicolo the double window which decorates the facade of the same 
church. Nicolo together with his sons John and Guitto carved the ciborium 
which still remains in the church of Ponzano. John and Guitto together 
carved the ciborium of S. Maria at Corneto (1 168), and another John, a son 
of Guitto, the pulpit of the same church (1209). 

A marmorario, named John, carved his name on the ambo of S. Peter 
at Alba Fucense: lohannes ciois ronianus et colloga Andreas magistcr ro- 
manas. 

Laurentius, the head of a third I'amily of Roman marmorarii, boasts of 
the largest number of descendants and of the largest and, wljat is still more 
important, the most beautiful works of the Cosmatesque school of archi- 
tecture, dating from tlie beginning of the twelfth to the beginning of the 
fourteenth century. We have no work bearing the name of Laurentius 
alone, he being always mentioned with that of his son Jacobus, as in the 
ambones of the Ara Coili, the best work of the pi'imitivc style of the raar- 
niorarii. One of these ambones, which has been recently restored in a 



7 

careless manner, bears upon one of the panels at the back the inscription 
LaarcrUias cum and upon a panel in the front of it the remaining words: 
Jacobo Jilio sao hajus opcris /iiaglsier fait. 

Other works bearing the names of these two artists are: the entrance 
gate of the church of S. Maria at Falleri: f Laarcatius cam Jacobo filio 
sao lioc opus fcccrunt, and that of the cathedral of Civita Castellana: 
■j- Laurciitius cam Jacobo fillo suo magistrl doctissimt roinani hoc opus 
feccruat. An inscription, now lost, from the basilica of S. Pietro read thus: 

f hoc opus ex auro rsitris Laarentius egit cum Jacobo nato sculpsit 
simul atquG per egit. 

The ciborium of the churcii of the S. S. Apostoli bore the inscription: 

■j- Laarentius cum Jacobo filio suo hujas opcris magistri. 

Jacobus, the son of Laurentius, is the author of the left entrance gate 
still renriaining on the facade of the cathedral of Civita Castellana, bearing 
the inscription: Magister Jacobus mc fecit. We also read his name {Jaco- 
bus Laarentii) on a band of mosaic decorating the left central shaft of the 
portico Id front of the same Cathedral. Two columns decorated with mosaic 
incrustations are standing on each side of the episcopal chair at S. Alessio; 
one of them bears the inscription: f Jacobus Laarentii fecit has deccm et 
nooem columpnas cum capitellis suis. The entrance gate of the church of 
S. Saba beai's an inscription dated A. D. 1205 and testifying that it was 
also made per manus magistri Jacobi. 

Tlie portico in front of the cathedral of Civita Castellana is, from an 
architectural point of view, the most important work of the Roman marmo- 
rarii; it dates from the beginning of the XIIP^^ century and bears the names 
of Jacobus and of his son Cosma, who originated the title of Cosniaiesque 
given to the style itself. 7'he inscription runs as follows: f Magister 
Jacobus ciois romanus cum Cosma Jilio sao fieri fecit hoc opas anno Do- 
mini MCCX The door- way of the church of S. Tommaso in Formis, not 

far from the arcTi of Dulaljclla and belonging to the Trinitarians (an Order 
founded by Iiniocent III A. D. 1218) is also a work of Jacol)Us and Cosma, 
and bears the insi:ription: Magister Jacobus cum fi.lio suo Cosimato fecit 
hoc (sic) opas. 

Cosma laid the mosaic pavement of the cathedi-al of Anagni, upon wliich 
are engraved the words: Magister Cosmas hoc opus fecit (about 1221) and 
ho also work(j(] in the ci-ypt of S. Magnus, as is |)i'oved l)y i Ik; iiiscriiition: 
Anno Domini M . CC . .VA^A^. /. per manu magisfri ('osme ciois ronianas 
fait amotatn altarc. 

The m('di(;v;i,l rjborinm of iJk; clinrdi of S. S. (JiovMiiin c Paolo at Pome 
Ijore the inscription: f Magister ('o.siiifts /'cci/ hoc opas. 

'I'wo s(jns of('o-in;i, n;i.iri('(l .f;ic( ibiis and Piicas, lirlpfd their I'allicr in 
laying the pavement of i.lic '■aUicdral of A nagni, as wo read in Uio i nscia pl.ioii : 



8 



Cos man dots fomaniin cum filtc sal Laca at Jacobo Jloc opus fecit. Thoy also 
helped him willi various woi-ks in the crypt of S. Magnus, one of the stairs 
bearing tlic inscrii)tion : f McKjistcr Cosnia ciols romanas cum fUiis suis 
Luca et Jacobo fecit (about A. D, 1231). The cloister of S. Scolastica at 
Subiaco is also the work of Cosma and his two sons, all of them being men- 
tioned in the inscription: Cosinas et Jilii Lucas et Jacobus alter roniani cives 
in mar/noris arte periti hoc opus explcrunt abbatis tempore Lancli. Landus 
was abbot of that celebrated Benedictine convent about A. D. 1235. Jacobus 
is recorded in another inscription of the same cloister: f Magister Jacobus 
romanus fecit hoc opus. 

Another Cosma, probably a nephew of the preceding one, built the 
Sancta Sanctorum chapel at S. John Lateran and engraved upon it this 
inscription: Magister Cosmatus fecit hoc opus (A. D. 1277). This second 
Cosma is supposed to be the father of Deodatus and Jacobus, w^ho laid the 
pavement of the Church of S. Giacomo alia Lungara, upon which Crescim- 
beni read the inscription : Deodatus filius Cosmati et Jacobus feccrunt hoc 
opus. Deodatus was the artist of the splendid ciborium, some fragments of 
which are kept in the Lateran cloisters, bearing the inscription : Magister 
Deodatus fecit hoc opus; also of the ciborium of S. Maria in Cosmedin, in front 
of which are engraved the words: Deodatus me fecit (about A. D. 1291). 
An inscription in the church S. Pietro in columna at Tivoli reads thus: 
Magister Deodatus fecit hoc opus. A Roman Marinorctrio, also named 
Deodatus, worked, A. D. 1332, on the fac^ade of the Duomo of Teramo. 

A son of Cosma, named John, the best representative of this glorious 
family of artists, left us three important works; the tomb of Bishop Durand 
in the church of the Minerva (A. D. 129G), bearing the inscription: Johannes 
filius rnagistri Cosmati fecit hoc opus; the tomb of Cardinal Gonsalvo at 
S. Maria Maggiore (A. D. 1299) inscribed: hoc opus fecit Johannes rnagistri 
Cos/ne ciois romanus and the tomb of Stefanus de Surdi at S. Balbina (about 
1303) inscribed: Johannes filius rnagistri Cosmati fecit hoc opus. 

Petrus Bassallettus who, as w^e said previously, took some part in 
executing the sculptures decorating the candelabrum of S. Paolo, was also 
the author of some work in the cathedi-al of Segni (A. D. 1185), now lost. 
Together with his son Vassallettus he began the celebrated Lateran cloisters, 
the son carrying out the w^ork, as is demonstrated by the following verses 
copied by Sismondi : Nobilis et doctus hac Vassallettus in arte 

Cum patre coepit opus quod solus pcrficit ipse. 
Some beautiful fragments, consisting of marble slabs, twisted columns 
and cornices have been put together by Senor Villegas to form a shrine in 
his studio; they are supposed to have bek)nged to the church of S. Apolli- 
nare in Rome, and bear the inscription : + Magister Bassallettus me fecit. 
The name of Petrus Bassallettus occurs in an inscription in the cathcdr*al 
of Sutri, dated 1186. 



9 

The chair of S. Andrea at Anagni, commissioned by Bishop Larido, 
A.D. 12(53, is inscribed Vasalclus do Roma, and on the candelabrum of the 
cathedral ai'c engraved the words: Vassaletus me fecit. On the marble lion 
in the church of the S.S. Apostoli is engraved the name -{- Bassallctus, and 
on a small shrine at Viterbo we read : M. Vassallectus me fecit. The 
door-way of S. Pudenziana was inscribed : -|- Magister Vassallettus fecit 
hoc opus. 

Several other works of the Roman marmorarii bear names \vhich have 
no connection wlih the histories already traced; others are either anony- 
mous or reduced to a fragmentary condition, so that it is only possible to 
compare them, from a technical point of view, with a masterpiece bearing a 
date or a name. Among the most important of these w^orks which can be 
studied in Rome may be mentioned the porch of the chui'ch of S. Antonio; 
the tombs of the Savelli and that of Matteo di Acquasparta at the Aracoeli; 
the canopy at S. Cecilia attributed to Arnolfo; the marble screen, episcopal 
chair and marble pulpit of S. Cesareo; the choir, ambones, canopy and 
episcopal chair at S. Clemente; the canopy and some decorations of the 
confession at S. Giorgio in Velabro ; the statue of Pope Nicolo IV and other 
remains at S. Giovanni Laterano ; a few remains at S. Giovanni a Porta 
Latina ; the pavements of the churches of S. S. Giovanni e Paolo and S. Gri- 
sogono, etc.; tlie porch of the basilica of S. Lorenzo fuori le mura (1216), the 
episcopal chair (1251) and the tomb of Cardinal Fieschi (1256) in the same 
basilica; the ambones at S. Maria in Cosmedin, together with Llie tomb of 
Alfanus (1123) and the basement of the candelabrum, bearing the inscription : 
Vir probas et doctus Paschalis rite oocatus, sanimo cam studio coiididit 
hunc cereuni. In the church of S. Nereo ed Acliilleo is well worthy of notice 
a pulpit, which Cardinal Baronio took from the church of S. Silvestro in 
Capite, the balustrade of the choir, also an ambo with candela'jrum, the ci- 
borium and the episcopal chair; the cloisters of S. Paolo fuoi-i le mura, a 
magnificent work, inferior only to those of the Latei'an ; they Ijear the in- 

sci'iption : Ma'jister Pet r us fecit hoc opus (1241); the ril)urium of 

S. Paolo, a wonderful work of Arnolfus, Ijears the date 1285 and tlie in- 
scription; hoc opus fecit Arnolfus cum socio suo Petro ; the tomb of Pope 
Boniface VIII in the Vatican Grottoes, als(j by Arnolfus, the scpulcln-e of 
Cai'dinal de Troyes at S. Prassode (1286) ; some h-agments !)erore tlie liigh 
altar of S. Saba; the sepulchral slab of Munio di Zamoi-a, ;i general of the 
lJoiniiiic;in oi'd<;r upon tlitj lloor- of the iiavt; ;it S. Sabiiia, (1300). 

Among the most im|iortant works ol' tlic Roman marmorarii in the cain- 
pagna and ncighhourin;-; provinces may Ix; rri<;nlioned a cainh-laJtrum and 
some fr'agments at Alatri ; a hcautifiil arnhom' and the iconostasis at AHia 
Fucenso; an ordio'si t-a I) ilustrade and st;vci-al ol hers at S. Fi-a nc(;sco d'A ssisi , 
amongst which is specially worthy of note a wonderiul roso windcnv; a chapel 



10 



in the castle of Carsoli; the ciborium and ambone at Castel S. Elia; a cande- 
labrum at S. Clemente Casauria (Abruzzi) ; the pulpit of ilie cathedral of 
Fondi bearing the inscription: 



supposed to be the work of the same John who worked at Corneto in the 
facade (1143) and in the ciborium (1158); the episcopal chair of the same ca- 
thedral was also by the Roman, John Nicolaus (1180). The ambo and the 
parapets of S. Pietro at Gaeta; the tomb of Cardinal de Bray at Orvieto, 
exquisitely carved and inlaid with mosaic, bearing the inscription: Hoc opus 
fecit Arnolphus (1282) which exhibits much of the influence of the Roman 
marmorarii, as well as that of Benedict XP^^ (1305) at S. Domenico of Peru- 
gia, a work of John of Pisa; the ambo by Magister Nicolaus de Bartolomeo di 
Fogia (1272) at Ravello, as well as those of Salerno and Sessa, together with 
the candelabra of these churches, showing a more southern influence: the 
pulpit of the Duomo of Scala, the church of S. Giorgio at Riofreddo, the pulpit 
and canopy in the parish church of Rocca di Botte. The cloister of Sas- 
sovivo is almost a rival to those of Rome; the inscription engraved upon one 
of its pilasters records that it was built a magistro Petro de Maria, roinano 
opere ct Mastria in the year 1229 and it was therefore supposed to be an 
Umbrian imitation of the Roman style; but imitators could not attain at once 
to such perfect mastery in the technical execution as is shown by the cloister 
of Sassovivo, which I attribute to Roman marble workmanship. 

The cathedral of Terracina offers a large field for investigation to stu- 
dents of this subject in its shrines, episcopal chair, candelabrum, pavement, 
porticus with mosaic frieze and the sepulchre of martyrs. Not far from 
Toscanella may be studied the ruins of the abbey of S. Giusto; some frag- 
ments are extant in the church of S. Clemente at Viterbo; a mosaic pave- 
ment remains at S. Francesco of Vetralla. At Viterbo are well worthy of 
\ notice the tombs of Pope Clement IV^^, of Pope Hadrian V^^^, who died there 
I in 1276, and of the Prefects of Vico in the church of S. Francesco, besides 
a sphinx in the church of S. Maria a Gradi inscribed: Hoc opus fecit fr. Pa- 
scalis romanus ord. pd. a. d. M. CC. LXXXVI, which may be compared 
with that of the candelabrum of S. Maria in Cosmedin. 
j Before closing this brief review, I must ask leave to mention some im- 
j portant works of a Roman marble worker which I admired very much a 
i few years ago at Westminster Abbey and about which I am indebted to 
Mr. Micklethwaite, the learned English architect, for some interesting notes. 
They consist of a small tomb bearing no inscription but believed to be the 
daughter of Hem^y III, who died A. D. 1257. The basement of the shrine of 



Tabula marmorea vitreis distincta lapillis 
Doctoris studio sic est erecta Joannis 
Romano geniti coguomine Nicolao. 



11 



Edward the Confessor bears the following inscription, only a portion of which 

is readable: , 

Anno mileno domini cum scptuageno 

Eh bis centeno cum complete quasi deno 

Hoc opus est factum quod Petrus duxit in actum 

Romanus civis. Homo causam noscere si vis in actum 

Rex fuit Henricus Sancti praesentis amicus. 

The relics of Edward the Confessor were laid in the place of honour by 
Henry III, A. D. 12'^i9. The inscription was also studied by Mr. Stevenson 
m a MS. copy of the XV century kept in the British Museum. 

The tomb of King Henry HI, the second founder of Westminster Abbey, 
erected A. D. 1281, has nothing English about it, save ihe grey Purbeck 
marble. Tlie bronze figure resting upon it is English work but ten years 
later. 

The pavement of opus alexandrinum before the high altar w^as laid 
A. D. 1268 and bore the inscription: Tertius Henricus rex, urbs, Odericus 
et Abbas hos coinposuere porp/iireos lapides. The Abbot, Richard of Ware, 
paid a visit to Rome after his election, which took pla'^e A. D. 1258, He 
died A. D. 1283, and upon his grave may be read the following w'ords: 

HIC PORTAT LAPIDES QVOS HVC PORTAVIT AB VRBE 

that is to say, that he lies buried under the red and green porphyries, the 
traditional elements of the opui alexandrinum, which he brought himself 
from Rome to England. 

No matter how great w^as the liberality of the medieval Abbot in provi- 
• ding precious materials, how^ great his care in selecting one of the most 
( skilful among the Roman marmorarii, the attempt to transplant a style of 
; \vork, which ("ould oidy find its proper nourishment among the ruins of an 
' ancient city, was not successful. This is proved by some attempis to imitate 
i tlie work of the romanus clois, a few traces of which still remain at West- 
; minster, and perhaps also l)y the |)avement of Cantei'bury Catliedral whose 
i features, not purely Italian, may 1)0 the worlv of an Englisli co|)yist. 



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